'Pause the Draws' toolkit

Why Pause the Draws?

Repetitive lab testing on inpatients is common and can have a variety of negative consequences. In addition to the overuse of test reagents, clerical, nursing and laboratory resources, the downstream impact of unnecessary or inappropriate lab testing includes delayed or incorrect diagnosis, over-treatment, additional phlebotomy, iatrogenic anemia, and patient inconvenience. As in all instances of over testing there is a clear risk for false positive results which can then lead to further work-ups of incidental and non-pathological results.

Clinicians should be encouraged to engage in ‘reflective’ ordering patterns based upon clinical indications rather than ingrained habits. Diagnostic tests should only be ordered to help answer clinical questions, or when test results will affect patient care management. Mentoring and active engagement of residents, Advanced Practice Providers and bedside nurses is important to reduce unnecessary testing. Messaging should reflect that the goal is to increase targeted, appropriate testing rather than to decrease overall lab testing.

Choosing Wisely initiatives from numerous professional societies have identified repetitive laboratory testing in the face of clinical stability as low value care. For hospitalized patients, targeting high volume repetitive daily tests is a logical, evidence based and patient-centered intervention that can have a significant impact.

Downloadable Posters

Pause the Draws- Test Tubes.pdf
Pause the Draws- Arm.pdf

Questions about this awareness campaign or about ways to advance High Value Care? Click here to contact the McLaren HVC Program.

Downloadable Talking Points

Pause the Draws Awareness Campaign (1).pdf

Choosing Wisely Lists Supporting 'Pause the Draws'

Society of Hospital Medicine – Adult Hospital Medicine

Don’t perform repetitive CBC and chemistry testing in the face of clinical and lab stability.

Critical Care Societies Collaborative – Critical Care

Don’t order diagnostic tests at regular intervals (such as every day), but rather in response to specific clinical questions.

The Collaborative includes the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, American Thoracic Society, the American College of Chest Physicians and the Society of Critical Care Medicine.

Society for the Advancement of Blood Management

Don’t perform laboratory blood testing unless clinically indicated or necessary for diagnosis or management in order to avoid iatrogenic anemia.

American Association of Blood Banks

Don’t perform serial blood counts on clinically stable patients.